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By Nancy Mairs. Photos by Paul Bickford.

DNow Hunger Games

Social media tracked DNow team competition in FBC’s Hunger Games.

Next time you’re walking down FBC’s hallway from the Sanctuary to the Dining Hall, just imagine you’re part of the Green Team, running to get on base before you’re captured by the Blue Team. That’s exactly what happened during the 2014 DiscipleNow weekend, an annual retreat for middle and high school youths that is better known as DNow.

Bart Dalton, FBC Youth Minister, explains: “Every year we work with the youth and adult leaders to plan out the best DNow. When we started planning the 2014 DNow weekend, one of the first events we talked about was the fun event that happens on Saturday. From the start, the youths wanted to host our very own Hunger Games.” In case you aren’t familiar with the Hunger Games, it’s a best-selling teen book series, later adapted to award-winning movies. The futuristic story centers on an annual event in which one boy and one girl, from ages 12 – 18, are selected from each of the twelve districts of the country to compete in a battle. In the Hunger Games, the contestants are sent to a forested area where they try to eliminate other participants until only one remains.

“The neat thing for our youths,” said Bart, “was that, first, we could do the fun event inside the church and we didn’t have to be concerned about the weather. But more than that, once a team member was captured, they got to join the team that had captured them until everyone was on the same team, just like the Body of Christ – which was the theme for the weekend. The youths got to have fun while seeing firsthand how the Body of Christ can come together.”

DNow worshipBut that wasn’t all the retreat was about. Prior to attending DNow, the youths were asked to complete a Spiritual Gifts Inventory to help identify their specific gifts and passions. Bart explained the reason for the homework assignment: “This year we wanted the focus of DNow to be different than previous years where the youths come to DNow, we have a great speaker, the music is great, they get closer to each other, and then they go home. We wanted to help the youths identify what they are good at, and start discovering how they can put their gifts and passions to work in the Body of Christ.” Taking it a step further, during the last session on Saturday, each adult youth leader met one-on-one with a DNow participant to help talk through what each had discovered about his or her gifts and passions, and how to use them in specific ways.

And what have the results been? “I’ve been getting phone calls from parents and youths wanting to know more. One of the youths who attended DNow has identified as her passion helping to stop human trafficking. She has been baking cookies at home and then selling them in her cafeteria at school to raise money for CEASE, a group that provides resources and support for those battling this awful situation,” stated Bart. And as he views it, “This is just the start of our youths getting out of their comfort zones to live life now as part of the Body of Christ.”

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